Yesterday, I put in 7 hours or so, working for a remodeling contractor. Now that in itself is not a big deal for me, I have been doing this kind of work on and off for 20+ years, but this one was a bit more interesting. The contractor has 40+ years in the business, in all phases of remodel and finish. Very detail oriented.
I began taping and floating some sheet rock, that was badly installed. He was quick to point out that I was not doing it like he thought I should be doing it, and gave me some pointers. Okay, I like learning new and different things and ways to do them. Then he went over my work and said that it was fine, and that a lot of the imperfections would be hidden by his texturing later. No big deal there either.
Next we went to another job site, and he had me finish grouting a laundry room and bathroom while he tiled another bathroom. Fine, I can grout, did so for over two years in Memphis and such. First he wanted me to mix the grout thick, almost as thick or more than his thin-set batch he was using. Okay, he's the boss. then he wanted me to slap the top grout in a way I have not done using a masons blocking trowel. Again, new to me, but I figured it out and went about doing as I was told. I then 'fixed' a few grout issues that another worker had done the day before. And also finished up some grouting that had been left undone.
After the day was done, we chatted a bit, he seemed happy with my abilities and knowledge as well as my willingness to learn from him his techniques.
Now, here is where I messed up. I thought he said to be back at this one site at 10am. I was wrong, it was 9am. And I apologize. He was not thrilled. then he went on and on about my inabilities and lack of skill. Excuse me? Then accused me of lieing to him about my work experience. I of course defended my abilities and experience, and pointed out that there are many contractors in the field that each have a different way of how things should be done. He accepted that as true, and explained that they were all wrong, of course.
He handed me $80 for the work I had done and fired me. I explained that I had only logged 7.5 hours and at the rate that he agreed to pay me, it added up to only$60, so I gave him $20 back. He looked at me with a blank face. And I told him, "I am honest, if nothing else." And politely drove away.